A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
By Nina Pajak
Last night, I was in a dark mood. I was trying to write about something funny and uplifting and frivolous and coming up empty. Instead, I was thinking about how little the people in this country respect one another, how far we have to go to become a peaceful, understanding society that values the lives of all people equally (or at least until a lot of us feel that way and the rest understand that they ought to appear as such). I was thinking about where I can find a balanced, heterogeneous, educated community in which to raise my family, and how to produce a fully grown human who can do good and help make this place better than it is. And then I turned on Peter Pan Live.
Was it discordant with the happenings on the news just a couple of channels below? Yes, in more ways than one (Christopher Walken, we all still love you). Was there some weird, racist Indian stuff no one knows how to update for 2014? You bet. But it was silly and fun and nostalgic and just the right mix of laughable and weird and charming to cheer me up. The Lost Boys were more like Misled Frat Brothers. The Jolly Rogers pirates were mostly played by former Hot Cops. There were confusing, scripted interstitials featuring Melissa Joan Hart and her real-life family awkwardly enjoying an evening of talking about the story of Peter Pan without actually turning on the television program they were endorsing. Or promoting. Or . . . something. And after a few minutes, I was reminded that I really want to rewatch the movie Hook. And also that the serious and the foolish can exist in the same space without offending. Sometimes we need a quick break from the rage and the injustice to notice that there’s still humor and lightness to be found. At least, I need it.
So in that spirit, and not with any lesser intentions, I present this to you:
I suppose it’s self-explanatory, in a way. Obviously France would be the first country to produce a drug to make their farts not stink. In fact, the inventor, Christian Poincheval, has a whole line of pills in a variety of scents, including roses and violets. The story of how his research was inspired is the best:
“We were at table with friends and after a hearty meal, we almost suffocated as our farts were smelly,” Poincheval writes. “The winds were not very pleasant for our fellow diners. I had to do something.”
You could always go to the bathroom, maybe? Or go home, to your bathroom? Or, like, eat a little less boeuf bourguignon? Anyway, sales are good, he says, and particularly so around the holidays.
Makes sense. You’re gathered around the yule log with family and friends and in-laws, and all the eggnog and roast beast starts to catch up with you. You shift uncomfortably in your seat, hoping you can synchronize a little toot with the right moment in a Burl Ives song. You do it! You’re home free! And instead of embarrassing yourself by releasing a cloud of toxic fumes, you fill the room with the dulcet aroma of a spring bouquet, or a tin of brownies.
Of course, everyone will still know that you’ve been farting all night. But now they’ll be thanking you. Or possibly, brownies will never again taste the same.
Those are some seriously high stakes.
Nina Pajak is a writer living with her husband, daughter and dog in Queens. Connect with Nina on Twitter!